As you are reading this I am on a plane on my way to Dublin, Ireland to start a little over 2 months in Western Europe. The articles on my website follow my timeline pretty dead on but are always about a month behind where I actually am in the world (my facebook fans are generally the only ones other than my Mom that knows where I am each day). However, I will take this break today to tell you that 1) I am going to Europe and 2) I have a little bit of help from some great sponsors.
Travelling Western Europe can be expensive, and the truth is that the cost is the biggest reason I’ve put off extended travel in the region. However, thanks in large part to a couple of sponsors I’m about to spend 2 and half months there as I make my way from Dublin to Seville before heading into Africa (my next big adventure). I will be making most of the journey via the backs of European trains and, as usual, staying at hostels along the way.
I make no bones about what I am getting from these sponsors and have outlined my affiliation with them below.
Hostelbookers.com is exactly what it sounds like: an online booking agent for hostels. I have been using hostelbookers.com for a long time now. I actually use them over competitors because they don’t have a booking fee (it really annoys me that some take a “fee” from users on top of the commission they receive).
What hostelbookers.com has done for me so far has gone far beyond what I could have asked from them. Basically, I tossed them the dates I was planning on being in certain cities and they spun back in a couple of days and said that they worked out a deal with a hostel in that destination. I will not only be staying in dorms, but they have even found a couple private rooms for me as well as some cozy bed and breakfasts.
In return, I’m going to be providing some reviews on the accommodation I stayed with. Please note that I have warned each hostel that I am a bit of a hostel snob and I will judge each hostel with the harshness of the snobbiest critic. I am a journalist, and I will report the property as I see and experience it.
Anyways, Hostelbookers.com has just announced their Awards of Excellence which are put together based on their experiences and the thousands of reviews that pour in about the hostels each week. Check out the award winners here. They put together a little youtube video too:
I have to say that I’m stoked to have Eurail as a sponsor as well. I have wanted to travel Europe by train since I was little, and probably would have used one of their passes even if they weren’t my sponsor. Basically, what they do is provide passes that cover train travel across Europe. You can buy single country passes, multiple country passes, or even a global pass which covers most of Euope. That is what I got hooked up with.
My global pass allows me 10 full days of travel across any of the affiliate countries over a 3 month pass. My train travel will be: Calais->Paris->Bern->Milan->Marseille->Barcelona->Madrid->Lisbon->Porto->Seville. However, if you really wanted to get your money’s worth you could use the same pass to do something like: Paris->Amsterdam-> Copenhagen->Prague->Zurich->Venice->Milan->Barcelona->Madrid-… (well, you get the idea). Especially if you’re travelling long distances, getting a Eurail pass will save you some coin better spent on wine, beer, scotch… (well, you get the idea).
I will be writing about my experiences on the trains in Europe extensively, as it is my main mode of transportation – and it is for most people that travel Europe.
Look for Europe content starting shortly, until then I have articles coming up from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and New York City.